Counter Surfing Tip

Is your dog guilty of jumping up on the kitchen counters?  For obvious reasons, we need to quickly help your dog learn that there is no benefit to this behavior.  We know that if your dog jumps up and is able to steal food from the counter even once a month, then this behavior is rewarding to the dog and will continue as the dog finds it yummy!

Have a family meeting to ensure that everyone is willing to work together to prevent your dog from receiving anything rewarding off the counters.  This should include gating off entrance to the kitchen or confining the dog while you are not home.  If the dog is practicing a behavior while you are gone, then it will take longer to modify, so managing while you are gone is essential.

Now for the Positive Training: using your dogs food bowl at meal times, fill it and place it on a counter.  If your dog jumps to take some, quickly pick up the bowl and walk to another counter or table and set it down.  Do not cue your dog to sit, however when he does, happily reward with a small handful of his kibble.  Each time you move the bowl around the kitchen reward your dog for complying with a sit, but remove the bowl, turn your back and walk away if he jumps.  Do at least 7 repetitions with each session.

Continue this practice of rewarding good behavior for several weeks and enjoy the benefits of watching your dog learn to comply!